RAP Sheet

Hello Goodbye

posted on August 23, 2016

At Slate, Ruth Graham talks to Joshua Harris, the author of the popular book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which championed Christian courtship and purity culture. The author and his book, which has sold more than a million copies since 1997, have under fire recently for sending damaging messages about sex and relationships to a generation of young Christians. “I know in many ways it’s too late for me to fix something for people who feel like they’ve been hurt by the books,” Harris told Graham. Of their conversation, she writes, “He spoke slowly and carefully, returning over and over to the theme of his own readiness to listen to his critics. It’s worth noting that Harris is media-savvy to avoid saying anything too definitively apologetic. But after making his name spouting certainties, there is a certain poignancy in his willingness to be nakedly hesitant in public.”

Read at Slate

Donald Trump Outreach Inaccurately Claimed Top Hispanic Pastor as Advisor

posted on August 23, 2016

TIME’s Elizabeth Dias reports that Dallas pastor Mark Gonzales, one of the named leaders of Donald Trump’s new Hispanic Advisory Council, has not agreed to be part of the group.The Republican National Committee corrected the error and their press release after the story came out. The advisory council is comprised “of two-dozen Hispanic business, faith, and civic leaders” and “attempts to counter Trump’s unfavorable rating among Hispanics nationwide, which hovers around 80%.” Dias writes, “Trump is expected to give an immigration policy speech on Thursday, and Gonzales is still willing to serve on the board depending on what he hears.”

Read at TIME

Victims of Rabbi Freundel, Who Videotaped Women, Ask for $100 Million in Lawsuit

posted on August 17, 2016

At The Washington Post, Julie Zauzmer reports that the women Rabbi Barry Freundel illegally filmed while preparing themselves for ritual baths are suing the rabbi and several Orthodox Jewish institutions for $100 million in damages. The suit asks for $1 million in compensation for each victim. Zauzmer writes, “Freundel pleaded guilty to taping 52 women, but prosecutors said he recorded more than 100 additional victims earlier than the three-year statute of limitations.”

Read at The Washington Post

John McLaughlin, TV Host Who Made Combat of Punditry, Dies at 89

posted on August 17, 2016

In The New York Times, Elizabeth Jensen reports that John McLaughin, a former Roman Catholic priest and host of the Sunday morning talk show, “The McLaughlin Group,” died Tuesday at age 89. McLaughlin also served as a member of Richard Nixon’s speechwriting team from 1971 until the president’s resignation in 1974. Jensen writes, “As creator, executive producer and host of ‘The McLaughlin Group,’ which began in 1982, Mr. McLaughlin helped reinvent the political talk-show format by injecting unabashed partisanship and a dash of entertainment.”

Read at The New York Times

Man’s “Unusual Fixation” With Lebanese Neighbors Led to Killing, Tulsa Police Say

posted on August 17, 2016

In The Washington Post, Michael E. Miller reports that Khalid Jabara, a Lebanese American, was killed outside his home Friday by his neighbor, Vernon Majors, in what the Jabara family is calling a hate crime. Majors was released from jail in May following his arrest in the nearly fatal hit-and-run of Jabara’s mother. In the hit-and-run police report, an officer wrote, “On previous interactions Majors repeatedly referred to his neighbors, the Jabara family, as ‘Aye-rabs’ and ‘Mooslems’ (Arabs and Muslims).” The Jabaras are actually Christian, according to a family friend.

Read at The Washington Post

Portraying Muslims as a Threat to Women, Donald Trump Echoes “Us vs. Them” Refrain

posted on August 17, 2016

In The New York Times, Amanda Taub writes, “Donald J. Trump, reiterating his call to restrict Muslim immigration to the United States, has adopted a tactic that has long been a mainstay of strongmen and sectarian provocateurs: portraying outsiders as a threat to women’s safety.” Similar discourse has been used to justify intolerance throughout history, including Jim Crow-era lynchings. Taub writes, “By using women to measure moral distance between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ such messages portray outsiders as not just different, but dangerous.’’

Read at The New York Times

Democrats Seek Repeal of Ban on Federal Funding of Abortion

posted on August 16, 2016

The Associated Press’s David Crary writes, “The law that bans federal funding for Medicaid coverage of most abortions is now in the spotlight some 40 years after it was passed by Congress, emerging as an election issue in the national debate over the procedure.” For the first time since its adoption in 1976, Democrats included a call for repealing the Hyde amendment in its platform. Crary writes, “For most of its existence, the amendment had broad bipartisan support in Congress, but that’s now changed.”

Read at Associated Press

Trump Promises to Work With NATO to Defeat Islamic State

posted on August 16, 2016

Reuters’ Ginger Gibson reports that in a speech in Ohio on Monday Donald Trump said he plans to work with NATO allies to defeat ISIS. Trump’s promise represents a significant reversal from his criticisms of the military alliance earlier this summer. Gibson writes, “While Trump appeared to claim credit for prodding NATO to focus more on the threat of terrorism, the 28-nation alliance has been grappling with the issue for more than a decade.”

Read at Reuters

States of the Union

Writers tell us stories about where they discovered religion and politics in their states.


A French Teacher Lives Among the Cajuns.

By Max Perry Mueller

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